By Monica Roberts
While positive trans friendly changes are happening at my alma mater UH [University of Houston] and up I-10 at LSU [Louisiana State University], seems as though the opposite is transpiring at Xavier University in New Orleans.
I was sent this interesting screenshot from [student and ELIXHER intern] L’lerret Ailith of a ballot question that came out today on the XULA campus, and is due tomorrow with this interesting Question 17:
Article VIII. Elections: Section Two- Eligibility (add Mr Xavier where Miss Xavier appears: Gender requirement) 1. Candidates for Miss Xavier/ Class Miss must be (A) female or (B) born female
In addition to the underhanded and duplicitous way this ballot question was rolled out by the Xavier SGA [Student Government Association], L’lerret had much to say about life on the Xavier campus as a girl like us and the shady ballot question.
Please share this with the world so that everyone can see how blatantly transphobic Xavier University of Louisiana is. I have been transitioning in college and as of late have been asking for more trans* amenities so I am lead to feel like this is a response to me living in my truth publicly and proudly.
They have released a ballot for the student body to vote on amendments to the constitution and one of them is to choose whether Miss. Xavier or any class Miss has to be BORN female or not.
They are publicly supporting the fate of persecution, ostracism, and discrimination of gender variant individuals. My human rights is held to a vote and majority rules.
Not only has the school simply tolerated me and not made changes I’ve requested (I.e gender neutral restrooms, trans* friendly housing policies and health insurance, the ability to form a GSA, etc) they now choose to publicly humiliate and subjugate my community.
I spoke to the SGA president (Javon Bracy) and she told me the word of this had been around campus for a while and so she can’t do anything about it so I’ve opted to get community support and take public action. Help me fight this. Fight for gender equity and trans* inclusion. Fight oppression. Share this! Spread the word!
Doing that for you right now L’lerret. This is a concrete example of the ripple effects of the transphobia and anti-trans hate injected into the Catholic Church in 2003 by Dr. Paul McHugh at the Vatican level filtering down to the flock.
XULA also has the other dynamic coursing through its history of being an HBCU as well.
The city of New Orleans has had a non-discrimination law that covers gender identity on the books since 1998, but Xavier seems as though it is determined to create a campus environment hostile to trans and gender variant people in a city and region chock full of them.
Xavier says in its mission statement that “the ultimate purpose of the University is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. This preparation takes place in a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates all relevant educational means, including research and community service.”
Looks like XULA is forgetting along with its SGA that trans and gender variant students are part of that global society in New Orleans, around the world and on the XULA campus. By running roughshod over their human rights, your alleged diverse learning and teaching environment is failing to take their existence and humanity into account.
Monica Roberts, aka the TransGriot, is a native Houstonian and a trailblazing award winning trans community leader. In addition to participating in a long list of panel discussions and speaking engagements to various colleges, groups and conferences over the years, in January 2006 she founded the award winning blog TransGriot.
*This post originally appeared on TransGriot. Cross-posted with permission as part of our content partnership.